Our website uses cookies. See our cookies page for information about them and how you can remove or block them. Click here to opt in to our cookies

Glasgow International announces dates of 2021 Festival

Published: 25 Nov 2020

Glasgow International Friday 11 June – Sunday 27 June 2021

Glasgow International, one of the UK’s largest and most influential visual art festivals, will take place across the city from 11 – 27 June 2021.

Originally scheduled to open in April 2020, the Festival was postponed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The 2021 Festival will showcase the city as a centre for the production and display of innovative contemporary art, and will comprise a Director’s Programme of larger-scale commissions and exhibitions, in collaboration with partners and venues, as well as Across the City, a wider programme of exhibitions and projects, selected from proposals by artists, curators and producers who live and work in Glasgow. Further details about the programme of exhibitions will be released in early 2021.

An online edition of the Festival, launched in April 2020 to coincide with the dates of its physical iteration, had it not been postponed, featured new online commissions by artists Alberta Whittle, Jenkin van Zyl, Yuko Mohri and Liv Fontaine, and existing work by Georgina Starr, Urara Tsuchiya and Sarah Forrest. Additional programming included an audio introduction to the festival by Director Richard Parry; and a recorded panel discussion which explored the ways in which the resonance of the festival’s theme of attention had changed in light of the COVID-19 crisis.

Glasgow International would like to thank the Scottish Government for its recent emergency relief support which will enable the Festival to take place in 2021. The money granted through this emergency relief support will be much needed income for the many freelance practitioners who make the festival happen, including artists, designers, curators, producers and others involved in developing and presenting work, as well as towards the myriad of behind the scenes operations that go into the festival next June.

Core funders and major programme supporters for Glasgow International 2021 are Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Life, Creative Scotland and EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate and Art Fund.

Richard Parry, Director of Glasgow International said: “Going without the festival this year has shown just how vital it is in our lives. The festival is a connector; it brings audiences to artworks, it connects different parts of the city, it connects artists with other artists and arts professionals. It connects Glasgow with the rest of the world and above all it connects us with what really matters – human expression.  We’re thrilled to have the festival as a live event back on our horizons and to be once again opening up Glasgow’s energy as a place of imagination and making with those looking to share in its magic.”

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “Glasgow International is a critical platform on which to present our incredibly talented artists who live and study in Scotland, and is a vital pipeline for interaction and for showcasing work across the world.  

“Like so many people, I was saddened when it had to be cancel this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, but took heart in the swift action Glasgow International took to deliver a fantastic digital version of their 2020 edition.

“In these uncertain times, it is welcome news that plans are underway to develop a safe version of the festival next year to resume showcasing the city as a centre for the production and display of innovative contemporary art. These plans will be developed with up to £150,000 of funding support from the Scottish Government.”

Councillor David McDonald, Depute Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow Life, said: “Glasgow is recognised around the world as a leading centre for visual artists creating new work and developing the form in exciting and diverse ways. It brings us huge kudos as well as financial benefits, and is vital for the city’s proud identity. Therefore, it is important and fantastic news that Glasgow International will hold a festival in 2021 both to retain that profile internationally but also to support our many freelance artists and curators in this challenging time, and ensure the cultural ecology of the city remains vital.”

Amanda Catto, Head of Visual Arts, Creative Scotland said: "It's very encouraging to be looking forward into 2021 and confirming dates for GI.

"Recognised as a critical, public platform for the work of artists based in Scotland and also a significant opportunity for international artists to stage new work, GI 2021 opens up opportunities for us all to experience some of the very best art being made in these uncertain times."

Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “Scotland’s events and festivals have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, so it is encouraging to see the green shoots of recovery with the announcement of the dates for Glasgow International next summer.

“The Festival contributes significantly to Glasgow’s reputation as one of the UK’s leading cities for contemporary art by providing a platform for local and international artists to showcase their work. This platform will be more important than ever as we build our recovery from COVID-19 as events play a key role in our communities by helping sustaining livelihoods as well as bringing social and economic change.”


For international press queries contact
Sam Talbot, +44 7725 184630, sam@sam-talbot.com, or Mary Doherty, +44 7716 701499, mary@sam-talbot.com

For Scottish press queries contact
Susie Gray, +44 7834 073795, susie@thecornershoppr.com

About Glasgow International 

Glasgow International is Scotland’s world-renowned biennial festival of contemporary art. Glasgow International showcases the best of local and international art for wide-ranging audiences. The festival continues to showcase Glasgow as a unique major centre for the production and display of contemporary visual art. Taking place in various venues and locations across the city, including Glasgow’s major art spaces and cultural institutions, the Festival is comprised of an ambitious programme which included exhibitions, events, talks, performances and projects by international and Glasgow-based artists.

Glasgow Life 

Glasgow Life is an independent charity which provides culture, leisure and community learning services to citizens and visitors to the city on behalf of Glasgow City Council.

We are the custodians of so much of what makes Glasgow a great local and global city and our services, programmes and venues have a deep-rooted connection with the communities and visitors we serve. Our mission is to inspire our citizens and visitors to lead richer, more active lives through culture, sport and learning; reflecting Glasgow’s ambitions to continue to grow as a creative, vibrant and healthy city which enables a high quality of life for its people and connects them with the wider world. Working across museums, the arts, music, sport, events, festivals, libraries, community facilities, and physical activity, learning and heritage programmes; the scale and reach of our activity makes a real and positive impact on the lives of Glasgow’s residents and creates unforgettable experiences for our visitors.

Glasgow Life manages an extensive portfolio of iconic and diverse venues across the city, from Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, and the Riverside Museum to The Mitchell Library; the Emirates Arena; The Burrell Collection; Kelvin Hall; Glasgow Royal Concert Hall; Tramway and the Glasgow Club – Scotland’s largest health and fitness network – among many others. We also manage the city’s destination marketing and award-winning PEOPLE MAKE GLASGOW brand as well as the delivery of the city’s Tourism and Visitor Plan to 2023; positioning Glasgow as a vibrant, first-choice destination for leisure and business tourists.
For more information, visit www.glasgowlife.org.uk


EventScotland is working to make Scotland the perfect stage for events. By developing an exciting portfolio of sporting and cultural events EventScotland is helping to raise Scotland’s international profile and boost the economy by attracting more visitors. For further information about EventScotland, its funding programmes and latest event news visit www.EventScotland.org. Follow EventScotland on Twitter @EventScotNews.
EventScotland is a team within VisitScotland’s Events Directorate, the national tourism organisation which markets Scotland as a tourism destination across the world, gives support to the tourism industry and brings sustainable tourism growth to Scotland. For more information about VisitScotland see www.visitscotland.org or for consumer information on Scotland as a visitor destination see www.visitscotland.com.

Creative Scotland 

Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland on behalf of everyone who lives, works or visits here. We enable people and organisations to work in and experience the arts, screen and creative industries in Scotland by helping others to develop great ideas and bring them to life. We distribute funding provided by the Scottish Government and the National Lottery. For further information about Creative Scotland please visit www.creativescotland.com. Follow us on Twitter @creativescots and Facebook @CreativeScotland

Art Fund

Art Fund is the national fundraising charity for art. It provides millions of pounds every year to help museums to acquire and share works of art across the UK, further the professional development of their curators, and inspire more people to visit and enjoy their public programmes. In response to Covid-19 Art Fund has made £2 million in adapted funding available to support museums through reopening and beyond, including Respond and Reimagine grants to help meet immediate need and reimagine future ways of working. Art Fund is independently funded, supported by the 159,000 members who buy the National Art Pass, who enjoy free entry to over 240 museums, galleries and historic places, 50% off major exhibitions, and receive Art Quarterly magazine. Art Fund also supports museums through its annual prize, Art Fund Museum of the Year. In a unique edition of the prize for 2020, Art Fund responded to the unprecedented challenges that all museums are facing by selecting five winners and increasing the prize money to £200,000. The winners are Aberdeen Art Gallery; Gairloch Museum; Science Museum; South London Gallery; and Towner Eastbourne. www.artfund.org